"Set course for wonder - It's a commentary! Commentary! The Musical
Bring back the cast, we'll have a blast
Discussing the days of yore
Moments like these sell DVDs
(We need to sell more
We've only sold four!)"
is a commentary track
on the DVD version of Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog
, where the cast - Neil Patrick Harris
(Dr. Horrible), Nathan Fillion
(Captain Hammer), Felicia Day
(Penny), writer/director Joss Whedon
, co-writers Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon, and several of the supporting actors - reunite to discuss the making of Dr. Horrible
in the form of a musical
featuring self-bashing songs
such as "Better Than Neil" and "Ten Dollar Solo". The official lyrics and liner notes can be found here.
Commentary! The Musical contains examples of:
- Artist Disillusionment: The subject of Joss's song, which is so depressing it drives everyone except Neil out of the studio.
- Author Filibuster:
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: Neil's reaction to the song about the Writer's Strike.
Neil: Wow, that is a really interesting fact...for a boring person!
- Blatant Lies: Is Nate trying to say he's Better than Neil with his song "Better Than Neil"? No, no, no! It's just an old sea shanty his mother taught him! Because he's from pirate blood!
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: It's already a commentary, but when one song is entirely about the song itself Jed notes that it's like "breaking the ninth wall".
- Buffy Speak: Inevitable.
Felicia Lofty... Artness?
- Nathan manages an entire line of Buffy Speak in "Better Than Neil". Some of them make little or no sense:
- Catch Phrase: Felicia Day's "I don't discuss my process!"
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Distracted by the Sexy: Felicia's song "The Art" is supposed to be about her serious, thoughtful approach to her craft, but is twice derailed by thoughts of Nathan's dreaminess.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a commentary and a musical.
- Fake Nationality: "A Persian or a Cajun/or an Indian or an American Indian/Played by a Mexican"
- Foreshadowing: "Why don't you sit in the corner over there by Steve and if we have time left over..."
- Also in "Better (Than Neil)", "Who's got the high score on Ninja Ropes?"
- Gag Dub: Commentary! is 38% funnier when actually watched as a commentary track over Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: After the first song is over and they're only "half-way through the first shot" Nathan panics and declares "We're all gonna die!" Felica slaps him and actually tells him to "get a hold of yourself".
- Hypocritical Humor:
- "We won't have those awkward pauses..." in the intro, "Commentary". Humourously, it's exactly synchronised with the other piece of Hypocritical Humor: namely, "Wow! Sarcasm! That's original!", and both are followed with awkward pauses - the one in Commentary! is much longer, though.
- Also, Joss commenting on the evils of DVD extras and how they ruin the original narrative, in an over-the-top DVD commentary musical, one of several DVD extras. Although it may have been the extreme overabundance of them that he was complaining about, rather than merely their use.
- The song "Nobody's Asian in the Movies" is commenting on a problem to which Joss Whedon's own TV series Firefly contributes.
- I Am Song: "Moist"
- I Banged Your Mom: In "Ninja Ropes", Neil "told you How I F*** ed Your Mother".
- I'm Standing Right Here:
But Maurissa, you co-wrote the movie. Why not just make yourself Penny instead of Monkey-Face?
- It's All About Me: is actually the name of one of the songs - sung by the various extras, and explaining how it is, in fact, all about them...
- Last-Second Word Swap: "My wonderful me-ness, my hammer the pe-ople can tell that I'm awfully swell..."
- Lounge Lizard:
- Nathan Fillion turns the smarm factor Up to Eleven on "Better Than Neil".
- Simon Helberg is arguably an even better example with his song "Nobody Wants to Be Moist." He even has a tinkly piano solo!
- Metafiction: It's a musical commentary track on commentaries. It probably spend more time commenting about how it's not a very good commentary than actually commenting on Dr. Horrible. The most commentary-ish song is Felicia's 'The Art', but that's full of her Blatant Lies and Take That, Us.
- Money, Dear Boy: Zach's excuse for why he got involved in a musical product in the first place.
- Mundane Made Awesome: "Ninja Ropes", in the best possible way.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: Apparently, everyone involved in the making of Dr. Horrible.
- Overly Narrow Superlative:
Jed: Let's all pull together and make this the best musical commentary ever!
- Race Tropes: Many are explored (and mentioned by name) in "Nobody's Asian in the Movies", including the stereotyped Asian who is a goofy mathematician, Korean grocery store owner, or ninja, or who speaks Engrish. "Me Love You Long Time" gets passing nod, too.
- Self Demonstrating Song: "Ten Dollar Solo", as mentioned above, is completely about itself.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: One of the extras pays Joss ten dollars to get her own solo. Neil pays him fifteen dollars and changes the song into a duet.
- Shameless Self-Promoter: Felicia Day's mentions of her web series The Guild, which she works into her song "The Art":
Felicia: But it’s not about The Guild
I’d be killed
If I shilled
For The Guild
On somebody else’s time
Then again, I sort of was killed
- Shaped Like Itself: In "It's All About the Art":
Magic as a magic thing/And lovely as love
- Shout Out:
- To The Guild, How I Met Your Mother, Doogie Howser, M.D., One Life to Live and an iPhone game, among others.
- Stacy comments in "Ten Dollar Solo" that the remake of Fame will be better and less depressing than the original. Said remake is directed by Kevin Tancharoen, brother of Maurissa.
- In "Zack's Flavour" mentions that the musical doesn't need to be 'pretty' or 'witty'. Compare with the line from The Producers 'Shows should be more pretty, shows should be more witty' from the song 'Keep it Gay'.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion:
- In Ten Dollar Solo:
Ten dollar solo/not bad so far/there's internal rhyme/although not every instance/and the meter is occasionally a little bit bizarre
- And a painfully obvious one in "Better Than Neil":
My wonderful me-ness/My hammer, the pe—ople can tell/that I'm awfully swell
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Immediately before "The Art", Felicia says "I certainly wasn't thinking about how cute Nathan is!"
- Take That:
- Probably embodied best in Nathan's song, "Better Than Neil", a three-minute-long Take That against the main actor Neil Patrick Harris. Although he claims that it's a sea-shanty that he learned from his pirate mother.
- "Songs can hurt like a fist."
- Of course, the song also implies that Nathan himself is either painfully jealous and in denial, downright delusional, or both, so it could be said to be mocking him just as much if not more.
- Take That, Audience!: "Hope you had fun / 'Cause now we're done / You've listened to every word / Seeing it through / Makes each of you / A huge f***ing nerd!"
- Take That, Us: Just about the whole thing.
All: We’ll talk about the writing
We’ll probably say “It’s great!”
And the acting — So exciting
Except for Nate
Nathan: I phoned it in.
- Neil's may be a reference to his appearances as himself in the Harold & Kumar movies, which portray him the same way.
- True Art Is Angsty: Parodied, of course. (With Self-Deprecation, as Joss Whedon known for putting his characters through the wringer.)
- "Let's not talk to Joss any more. He's sad and confusing."
- Naturally, Joss Whedon's song is all about this.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: In Felicia's pretensions, anyway.
Perfect, mysterious, comes from above
- Writers Suck: Maurissa reminds the others that Dr. Horrible came about because of the 2007 Writer's Strike:
Maurissa: Does everyone remember the Writer's Strike of last year?
All: I, er, um, er...
Felicia: ...what's the writers do?